What to pack for a winter campervan adventure in New Zealand | Apollo NZ
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Manawatu-Whanganui & Taranaki

A New Zealand campervan holiday through the Manawatu-Whanganui & Taranaki region offers an unforgettable experience. Rich in natural beauty and cultural significance, this special part of New Zealand offers travellers a unique blend of urban charm and rugged wilderness. If you love exploring arts and culture, you’ll be spoilt for choice in this region. You may even like to follow the Coastal Arts Trail which spans 300 km between New Plymouth to Palmerston North. The trail is peppered with galleries, sculptures, studios and more. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the mystical Bridge to Nowhere, accessible through the verdant Whanganui National Park, offering an unforgettable journey into New Zealand's remote backcountry. 

Transitioning westward, the landscape dramatically changes as you enter Taranaki, dominated by the iconic, conical shape of Mount Taranaki. This region is a magnet for adventurers and nature lovers alike, with New Plymouth at its heart – a coastal city known for its sunny climate, thriving arts community, and surf-friendly beaches. The coastal walkway stretching from Bell Block to Port Taranaki offers spectacular sea views, perfectly complementing the city’s dynamic cultural venues and eateries.

 

Why explore Manawatu-Whanganui & Taranaki by campervan

Exploring Manawatu-Whanganui and Taranaki by campervan offers an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in the heartland of New Zealand's North Island. It also makes it easy to change your itinerary on the fly. Whether it's spending an extra day enjoying the surf in New Plymouth, exploring the hiking trails around Mount Taranaki, or parking beside the scenic Whanganui River for a spontaneous picnic, the choice is yours. The ability to set your own pace and schedule makes a campervan ideal for discovering the hidden gems of these regions.

Travelling by campervan not only brings the comforts of home on the road, such as your own bed, kitchen, and living space, but also eliminates the hassles of constant packing and unpacking. This is especially valuable in regions like Manawatu-Whanganui and Taranaki, where attractions are spread out. Having your necessities with you means you're always ready for the next adventure. 

 

Things to do in Manawatu-Whanganui & Taranaki

Manawatu-Whanganui and Taranaki offer activities for all ages, from nature excursions to authentic cultural experiences. Explore Palmerston North's gardens and arts scene, Whanganui's historic riverboat cruise, or brave the surf at New Plymouth's beaches. Immerse yourself in the local culture with visits to museums, galleries, and artist studios. Whether it's outdoor excitement or cultural enrichment, this fascinating region provides something for everyone.

 

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Popular Manawatu-Whanganui & Taranaki road trips & itineraries

Stretching down the lower west coast of New Zealand’s North Island, Manawatu-Whanganui and Taranaki are prime destinations for road trippers seeking a mix of culture, nature, and adventure. Easily accessible from major urban centres like Wellington and Auckland, the drive itself showcases the dramatic shift from urban landscapes to the lush, green countryside of Manawatu and the striking volcanic features of Taranaki. These routes not only offer breathtaking views but are dotted with a variety of attractions, making every stop an opportunity for discovery. 

 

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Great savings on your New Zealand road trip

Apollo offers a fantastic selection of deals and specials for those looking to explore Manawatu-Whanganui & Taranaki by campervan. From hot deals and last-minute discounts to long-term hire benefits, you’re sure to find a deal designed to help you make the most of your campervan road trip. 

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Apollo Campervan branches

Christchurch

The drive from Apollo Christchurch to the Manawatu-Whanganui and Taranaki region sets you up for a scenic journey across the South Island, including the picturesque ferry crossing at the Cook Strait, and onto the North Island. 

Queenstown

Keen to make the most of your road trip and explore the South Island before heading north? Book your camper with our Queenstown branch and spend a few days taking in some of the great southern highlights before crossing the Cook Strait by ferry.

Auckland

Set off from Apollo Auckland and kick off your exploration of this region in New Plymouth – just a few hours drive away. Make your way down the west coast taking in the charming townships, rolling rural landscapes, and rugged coastline as you venture south.  

Auckland City Skyline

Auckland

New Zealand’s multi-cultural hub of food, music, arts and culture.

 

Christchurch City, New Zealand

Christchurch

 One of the world’s most unique destinations.

 

Queenstown

Breathtaking scenery and adrenaline-pumping adventure activities.

 

Helpful tips for visiting Manawatu-Whanganui & Taranaki

 

Climate and seasons in Manawatu-Whanganui & Taranaki

Stretching hundreds of kilometres, this expansive region offers distinct seasonal experiences, making it an attractive destination year-round for visitors looking to enjoy a variety of landscapes and activities.

Manawatu-Whanganui enjoys a mild, temperate climate with moderate rainfall, making it pleasant for travel most of the year.

  • Summers (December to February) are warm with temperatures averaging around 22°C, ideal for exploring the great outdoors and the region's rivers and parks.
  • Autumn (March to May) brings cooler temperatures and a beautiful change in foliage, particularly in the bush-clad hills, providing perfect conditions for hiking and photography.
  • Winter (June to August) can be cooler, with temperatures dropping to around 10°C, but it is generally mild compared to other regions, with occasional frost in sheltered areas.
  • Spring (September to November) sees the landscape rejuvenate with bursts of flowers and greenery, making it a lovely time for visiting the many gardens and reserves.

Taranaki is known for its more dynamic weather patterns, due to the presence of Mount Taranaki, which can attract clouds and cause quick changes in weather.

  • Summers here are pleasant with temperatures similar to Manawatu-Whanganui but expect more frequent rain showers that keep the surroundings lush.
  • Autumn sees stable weather, ideal for outdoor activities as the forests display a vivid array of autumn colours.
  • Winter in Taranaki can be wet, with more pronounced rainfall, and the mountain often receives snowfall, offering spectacular views and winter sports.
  • Spring brings a rapid growth of new foliage and is particularly spectacular as rhododendrons and other blooms erupt around the mountain's base.

 

 

 

What to pack?

Preparing for your campervan journey through Manawatu-Whanganui and Taranaki requires thoughtful packing to make the most of the diverse climates and activities available in these regions. Here’s what you should consider bringing along:

  • Outdoor gear: given the varied terrain from river valleys to volcanic mountains, pack versatile outdoor gear. Lightweight, breathable clothing will serve you well during warmer months, while waterproof and windproof layers are essential for the unpredictable weather near Mount Taranaki. Sturdy hiking boots are a must for exploring the rugged landscapes and numerous walking trails. With the stunning natural beauty and wildlife in both regions, a good camera can help you capture memorable landscapes and native birds. Binoculars will also enhance your experience, especially when visiting coastal areas and bird sanctuaries.
  • Campervan add-ons: Enhancing your campervan experience can significantly improve your comfort during the trip. Consider including a portable heater for the cooler evenings, especially during winter months in Taranaki. A reliable GPS and physical maps can help navigate the more remote areas. Additional camping chairs and a table can also be handy for scenic stops along the coast or in forest parks.
  • Sun protection and rain gear: The regions' varying weather conditions call for both sun protection and rain gear. Pack a high-SPF sunscreen, UV-protection sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat to shield against the strong New Zealand sun. Also, include a durable rain jacket and waterproof trousers to stay dry during sudden rain showers, particularly prevalent in Taranaki. For more helpful ideas, check out our guide to what to pack for your campervan road trip.

For more helpful ideas, check out our guide to what to pack for your campervan road trip.

 

 

Nearby attractions and day trips from Manawatu-Whanganui & Taranaki

Manawatu-Whanganui

Whanganui River cruise or kayak

Experience the tranquil beauty of the Whanganui River by taking a leisurely cruise or paddling a kayak. This historic river offers stunning views of lush landscapes and provides a quiet escape into nature, perfect for a relaxing day on the water.

Whanganui National Park

Home to native forests and scenic waterways, Whanganui National Park is popular with hikers and walkers. The park is also home to the Bridge to Nowhere Walk, a 3 km return (around 1.5 hours) easy walk popular with visitors to the area.

Forgotten World Highway

The Forgotten World Highway, running through remote, mystic landscapes, offers a journey back in time. This historic route passes through rugged terrain, dense forests, and small forgotten towns, making it a unique adventure for road-trippers.

Bushy Park

Bushy Park Ecological Sanctuary, near Whanganui, is known for its rich biodiversity and protected native forest. The 100-hectare reserve is home to some of the tallest and oldest trees in the region, including a 500-year-old rata. The park's predator-free status allows visitors to encounter rare and endangered birds such as the hihi and saddleback in their natural habitat.

Nearby attractions and day trips from Taranaki

Mount Taranaki

Dominating the landscape, Mount Taranaki offers challenging hikes and spectacular views from its summit. The symmetrical volcano is a striking feature of Egmont National Park, drawing climbers and photographers alike.

New Plymouth Coastal Walk

The New Plymouth Coastal Walkway is a spectacular 13-kilometre path that stretches from Ngamotu Beach to Bell Block, offering panoramic views of the Tasman Sea. This award-winning walkway is ideal for walking, jogging, or cycling featuring iconic landmarks like the Te Rewa Rewa Bridge, which resembles a breaking wave or whale skeleton.

Pukekura Park

New Plymouth’s Pukekura Park is a beautifully landscaped garden featuring lakes, waterfalls, and exotic plants. It hosts the famous Festival of Lights, transforming into an enchanted evening wonderland.

Dawson Falls in Egmont National Park

Dawson Falls is a spectacular 18-metre waterfall located within Egmont National Park. The area around the falls offers picturesque walking tracks that wind through lush native bush, ideal for a short, scenic hike.

 

Where to stay in Manawatu-Whanganui & Taranaki with a campervan

When it comes to finding the perfect spot to park and rest in Manawatu-Whanganui & Taranaki, there's no shortage of picturesque, comfy campgrounds. Here are a few worth checking out:

Manawatu-Whanganui

Taranaki

 

 

 

Alyssa Tresider
/ Categories: NZ blog

What to pack for a winter campervan adventure in New Zealand.

Kicking off a New Zealand road trip in a campervan this winter? You're in for a real treat! In this helpful guide, we'll share all the essentials of what to pack for your New Zealand winter holiday. From the must-have gear to keep you warm and cosy, to the essentials that will make your campervan hire experience smooth and enjoyable, we've got you covered. 

Whether you're planning a South Island road trip to explore the snowy wonders or a North Island itinerary filled with winter festivities, preparation is key! 

So, let's dive into the ultimate campervan checklist for your winter road trip in NZ. 

 

Why you should take a winter campervan trip in New Zealand

A winter campervan trip in New Zealand is truly something special. As the cooler months roll in, the landscapes shift into a stunning spectacle of snow-dusted beauty, offering a quiet and intimate setting that's hard to find at any other time of the year.

Start your day with a freshly made morning coffee with views of majestic, snow-draped mountains. Spend the day exploring townships, museums, and trails, before relaxing the evening in a soothing hot pool under the stars. It's the kind of experience that turns a simple trip into a soul-enriching adventure.

For those who thrive on adrenaline, winter in New Zealand is a playground. The season offers unbeatable activities, from carving down world-class ski slopes to glacier hikes that make you feel like you're on top of the world. Whether you're a seasoned snowboarder or looking to try something new like ice climbing, winter is the perfect time to embrace these thrilling experiences.

One of the best parts about travelling in winter is the peace and quiet. The campgrounds and popular tourist spots are all quieter, and sometimes cheaper too! And of course, a camper gives you the freedom to chase the snow, find the best spots, and do it all at your own pace, making every moment of your New Zealand road trip uniquely yours. 

 

What comes with an Apollo camper?

Choosing an Apollo campervan for your New Zealand winter adventure means you're setting yourself up for a holiday that's not just about the stunning views and thrilling activities, but also about comfort and convenience. 

Apollo ensures that your camper hire experience is as smooth and enjoyable as possible, providing you with all the essentials you need for a cosy winter getaway.

Inside every Apollo campervan, you'll find a well-equipped kitchen kit and a range of general equipment designed to make your life on the road easy and pleasant. Here's what you can expect:

  • Cooking equipment: Whip up your favourite meals with the provided pots, pans, and cooking utensils. Whether it's a hearty breakfast to start your day or a warm dinner after a day of exploring, you'll have everything you need.

  • Eating utensils: Enjoy your meals in the comfort of your camper with the provided plates, bowls, cups, and cutlery. It's like having a mobile dining room with the best views in town.

  • Pegs and clothesline: Keep your adventure gear fresh and ready with the handy pegs and clothesline, perfect for drying clothes on the go.

  • Fire extinguisher: Safety first! The included fire extinguisher is there for your peace of mind, ensuring you're prepared for any emergencies.

  • Bucket and hose: These versatile tools are great for a variety of uses, from washing dishes to a quick clean-up.

  • Broom and dustpan: Keep your space neat and tidy with these cleaning essentials, making your camper feel like a home away from home.

To ensure you're wrapped in warmth and comfort throughout your journey, Apollo provides personal kits with complimentary items such as sheets, blankets or duvets, pillows and pillowcases, and bath towels.

And if you're looking to enhance your campervan hire experience further, Apollo offers additional gear for hire. From plug-in heaters to keep you extra toasty, to outdoor tables and chairs for those scenic pit stops, child booster seats for the little adventurers, and bike racks for cycling enthusiasts, you have the option to tailor your trip to your preferences.

With Apollo, every detail is taken care of, so you can focus on soaking up the winter wonders of New Zealand from the comfort and warmth of your camper.

 

What to pack for your campervan road trip

Here are a few ideas on what you'll need to pack to make sure you're snug, safe, and ready for an unforgettable campervan adventure.


Warm clothing

New Zealand's winter can throw all sorts of weather your way, so layering up is the way to go. Start with some good thermal underwear – it's a game-changer for keeping warm. Add a warm fleece jacket for that middle layer and top it off with a waterproof jacket to fend off any rain or snow. Don't forget your beanie and gloves to keep your head and hands warm, and a pair of sturdy, waterproof boots are essential for those crisp winter walks. To help you prepare for the day ahead, it's a good idea to check the weather forecast ahead of time. 


Ski gear

If you're keen to hit the slopes or explore the snowy landscapes, bringing along your ski or snowboard gear is a great idea. Helmets are a must for safety, and if you're into snow hiking, snowshoes can make the experience even better. And if you don't have your own gear, no worries at all – most places near the slopes have rental options available, so you can easily gear up for your snowy adventures.

NEED SOME INSPO? Check out our 14-day winter road trip itinerary.


First aid kit

It's always smart to have a first aid kit on hand for those just-in-case moments. It could be anything from scrapes and scratches to headaches or an allergic reaction. The good news is that all Apollo campervans come with a first aid kit. This will cost $50 only if opened and it means you’ll be prepared for any accidents along the way. 

So, whether you bring your own or use the one provided, it's all about peace of mind while you're out exploring.


Cooking extras

While your Apollo campervan is kitted out with the basics for whipping up some delicious meals, there's always room to add a personal touch to your campervan cuisine. Consider packing a few extras to elevate your cooking game:

  • Portable BBQ: Perfect for grilling up a feast under the stars. There's nothing like the aroma of a good BBQ to make a winter evening feel special.

  • Coffee plunger: For coffee aficionados, starting your day with a freshly brewed cup can make mornings in the great outdoors even more delightful.

  • Favourite ingredients and condiments: Bring along those special spices or sauces that you love. They can turn a simple meal into something extraordinary. Note: If you’re travelling to New Zealand from another country, it pays to check what foods you can bring into New Zealand before you start packing. 


Entertainment

After a day of exploring, there's nothing quite like winding down in the cosy confines of your camper. To keep entertained during those chill evenings, pack some of these essentials:

  • Books: Whether you're into thrillers, romances, or travel guides, a good book is a perfect companion for a quiet night in.

  • Board games: Compact board games or card games can provide hours of fun and are a great way to bond if you're travelling with companions.

  • Laptop or tablet with movies: Download your favourite films or series for a movie night in your home on wheels. Just remember to bring headphones if you're sharing the space!


Navigation and communication

Staying connected and on the right path is crucial for a smooth campervan road trip experience. 

  • GPS device or offline maps: Even if you're planning to go off the grid, having a reliable way to navigate is key. Offline maps can be a lifesaver in areas with spotty reception. A good tool to help you do this is the thl Roadtrip app. This handy app is packed full of everything you’ll need to prepare for and enjoy your campervan road trip. Download on the App Store or Google Play.  

  • Charged mobile phone with a New Zealand SIM card: For local calls, internet access, and emergencies, a mobile phone with a local SIM card is invaluable.

  • Travel itinerary: Share your travel plans with a friend or family member. It's good practice for safety and they can also offer suggestions for your trip.


Personal items

When you're packing for your campervan road trip, it's the little personal touches that can make all the difference. Here's what you shouldn't leave behind:

  • Toiletries and medications: Essentials like toothpaste, shampoo, and any prescriptions you need should be at the top of your list.

  • Sunscreen and lip balm: The winter sun can be deceiving. Protect your skin and lips to avoid any discomfort.

  • Hot water bottle: For those extra chilly nights, a hot water bottle can be your best friend, keeping you warm and toasty.


Headlamp or torch

A headlamp or a sturdy torch is a must-have on any campervan adventure. Whether you're navigating around your campsite or exploring after dark, having a reliable source of light is essential for safety and convenience.


Power bank

In today's connected world, keeping your devices charged is more important than ever, especially when you're on the move. A high-capacity power bank ensures you can keep your phone, camera, and other gadgets powered up, even when you're far from a power outlet.


Refillable water bottle

Staying hydrated is a must, no matter the season. A durable refillable water bottle is not only environmentally friendly but also ensures you have access to water wherever you go. Fill up at water stations along your route and keep hydration at hand throughout your journey.

 

Ready to explore New Zealand in a campervan this winter?

New Zealand's winter landscape offers a unique blend of beauty and adventure, making it the perfect backdrop for your campervan journey. 

With an Apollo campervan, you have the freedom to explore this winter wonderland at your own pace, all while enjoying the comforts of home.

So, are you ready to hit the road and discover the magic of New Zealand in winter? Book your Apollo campervan online today and start planning the ultimate winter escape. Whether you're chasing snow-capped mountains, serene lakes, or cosy nights under the stars, an Apollo campervan is your ticket to an unforgettable adventure.

Don't wait any longer. Your New Zealand winter journey begins with Apollo.

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